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bits from the (newbie) DPL

Hello, world!,
  48 hours into this new DPL term, here are my first ever "bits from
the DPL" with kudos, directions, and some practical information.


A big THANK YOU goes to all the people that took part in the recent
elections: as I've mentioned in a recent blog post [1] I'm very proud of
our project and of its democratic processes, let's not forget that
Debian and its constitution are quite peculiar in that respect in the
distribution ecosystem.

In particular, I'd like to thank Wouter Verhelst, Charles Plessy, and
Margarita Manterola, for running in this elections. IME it takes quite
some courage to nominate themselves and it shows a very deep commitment
to Debian. I hope their energies can be directed to other important
tasks, as we very much need enthusiastic and committed people in all
project areas.

Also, kudos to Kurt Roeckx and Neil McGovern (project secretary and
assistant) for having run the election so smoothly, and thanks to
everybody who took part in the intense "question time" on -vote.

[1] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2010/04/oh_my/


I've spent this first 2 days to "understand the job": getting familiar
with the various contacts the DPL might need (e.g.: SPI treasurer,
lawyer, board, etc.), catching up with past-but-still-recent DPL
correspondence (looking for pending TODO items), and giving feedback to
people asking for quotes, interviews, etc.

In that respect I also thank Steve McIntyre and Luk Claes which have
promptly replied to all my newbie questions and have given me all the
needed feedback to ensure a smooth transition.

I've also started compiling the feed of DPL bits that I've promised in
my platform (see below) and, more importantly, distilling an "action
plan" out of my platform and of the requests that I've started
receiving. I'll mail soon the appropriate mailing lists about some
points of the plan, so please hold your breath a bit more.

Talk with me!

I believe that one of the most important goals of the DPL is to be a
"facilitator". Where there are rough edges that block people out of the
job they want to do, the DPL should elide them. Personally, even though
I'm aware of *some* blockers, I can't possibly know *all* of them (and,
due to Murphy law, I'm surely not aware of your specific itch).

To improve my awareness, in the medium term I'll probably relaunch the
wonderful team review initiative carried on by Steve McIntyre about 2
years ago.  In the meantime I encourage all of you---teams and
individuals---to let me know of any blocker that is in the way of your
Debian contributions (team conflicts, missing resources, missing access
rights, lack of feedback from someone, scarce manpower, whatever). Above
all, do not assume that I'm aware of *all* project problems and do an
effort to ensure that I'm aware about the specific one bothering you.

Delegations: nominate yourself

You probably already know that I won't be looking for a 2IC (second in
charge). Nevertheless, I'm not foolish enough to think I'll be able to
last a term without any help :-) In particular, I'm keen of using both
"usual" and time-limited delegations wherever is needed.

So here is a call for help: if (1) you think you can improve a specific
area of our project, and (2) you are ready to take on your shoulders the
burden of it, and (3) you think it might help to have a specific DPL
blessing (actually: you should be particularly convincing on this last
point), then contact me about that. We're a very nice do-ocracy, and
there is no reason why enthusiastic and capable people willing to work
on a specific subject should not be empowered to do so.

Communication with the project

The preferred way of contacting me for DPL-related tasks is mailing
leader@d.o. I'm also on irc.d.o (nickname "zack") and I check backlogs
and the like there; still, for non-trivial stuff mail is preferred.

I plan to mail at least monthly d-d-a with DPL bits. In addition, I've
started using a very simple text file which I use as day-to-day activity
log; the file is located at "~zack/bits-from-the-DPL.txt" on
master.debian.org. There is nothing secret there; still, it is not on
the wiki just because it might anticipate time-sensitive stuff like
press releases, posts which are meant for -private, etc, so think twice
before quoting its content elsewhere.

Note that---for the sake of transparency---I'll generally note in the
bits file relevant correspondence with leader@d.o. I'll of course apply
common sense and do not disclose personal issues, but nevertheless
please be explicit if you want that something mailed to leader@d.o
remains private.

I also use some social Web stuff: I blog regularly on planet.debian.org,
and I'm on identi.ca as "zack". I will surely (micro)blog about DPL
activity, with suitable tagging. While those media are no substitutes
for official communications via d-d-a and other lists, it might happen
that they anticipate some information (which would be recap-ed at the
next d-d-a post).

Now let's go and squash some RC bug, Squeeze is getting closer and
closer, and I've already wasted enough of your time!


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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